Senator Elaine Phillips presented Oliver Rein, a 16-year-old Great Neck junior firefighter, with the New York State Senate’s Liberty medal, one of the highest civilian honors a New York resident can receive.
Earlier this year, Rein extricated two injured people from a car after it had crashed into a tree.
“Oliver Rein embodies all of the characteristics of a true hero: courage, bravery and selflessness,” said Phillips. “Without hesitation, instead of running away or calling for help, Oliver ran toward the danger to ensure the driver and passenger received the care they needed. It was my pleasure to award Oliver with the much-deserved New York State Senate Liberty Medal for his tremendous act of heroism.”
Phillips also presented a formal New York State Proclamation to David Adler, a Great Neck resident, who assisted Rein in carrying the two people to safety.
Rein and Adler were walking along Middle Neck Road in August when a car came speeding around a bend and crashed into a tree. Without hesitation, even though the car was smoking and sparking, Rein, a two-year junior firefighter with the Great Neck Alert Volunteer Fire Company, ran to the car and pried open the crushed door. When he opened the door, he saw a motionless male driver in his 20s covered in blood. Unsure if the driver was alive at first, Rein made verbal contact, extricated the man from the car and kept him calm until assistance arrived. Rein and Adler carried the man to safety and then pulled out the passenger.
The highest civilian honor a state senator can bestow on a New Yorker, the New York State Senate Liberty Medal is awarded to citizens who have merited special commendation for their actions on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers and their community.